Work life is creeping into home life more and more. As smartphones get smarter and laptops get lighter, it’s all too easy to take the office back home with you and keep on working
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there sometimes comes a point when the deluge of information coming your way can start to look overwhelming.
So what do you do? Adopt the foetal position and wish it all away? Throw your phone out of the train window? Jack it all in and join a circus?
Thankfully, there are some simple and sensible strategies to help you take control of this information before it takes control of you.
- Step back. When you start to feel overloaded, the best thing you can do is get some perspective. Step back and invest some time in working out what needs to be done so you can actually get on and do it.
- Avoid delay. Avoiding the issue can make information overload worse. Get cracking! Determine exactly what each task entails, and work out a realistic timescale.
- De-clutter. Take a few minutes each day to keep on top of your admin and filing: both electronic and paper. Aim to leave each day with a clear desk, and an up-to-date inbox.
- Delegate. Is it your job to do all of these tasks? Is there someone in a better position to get them done more efficiently? It’s not about passing the buck, it’s about finding the right person for the job.
- Don’t overload other people. If you’re getting too many emails, then are other people? Aim to send out fewer emails by concentrating on quality, not quantity. Consider the rest of your colleague’s workload rather than passing on unnecessary information.
- Make prioritising a daily practice. When information arrives, put it into groups, for instance, Urgent, Important, Useful, Nice to know and Bin. Then go through each category and put it into priority order.
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